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  • Boko Haram recently kidnapped 30 children from a village in Nigeria, pushing the

  • total number of people kidnapped by Boko Haram since 2009 to well over 500. Over the

  • past year, a number of these victims have managed to escape, meaning we now have a

  • glimpse into what living as a captive of Boko Haram is really like.

  • The first thing to note is that the vast majority of Boko Haram’s captives are female.

  • This is important because Boko Haram is a Muslim extremist group. And as such, their

  • goal is to establish an extremely antiquated and strict version of sharia law. One that

  • in the best case scenario, still strips women of their human rights and treats them as

  • completely subservient to men.

  • The kidnapped women who have since escaped, report rampant physical,

  • psychological and sexual abuse at the hands of Boko Haram fighters, including rape.

  • There are reports that some commanders try to protect the girls from such acts, but

  • even that protection ends when the girls are sold into marriage against their will and

  • forced into bed by their new husbands; a practice that’s common for Boko Haram.

  • Anecdotally, one of the now free girls claims that a Boko Haram commander married

  • off his own daughter to another man when she was only four years old. In addition to

  • this mistreatment of women, Boko Haram is also forcing captives to renounce their

  • religions. According to one of the now free girls, fighters put a noose around her neck

  • and threatened to hang her unless she renounced her Christianity and converted to

  • Islam. Those are the norms for women in captivity, but theyre not the only human rights

  • violations being committed.

  • Some factions of Boko Haram also use captives in their terrorist operations. Girls

  • have been used to lure Boko Haram’s enemies into ambushes. Theyve also been

  • forced to carry ammunition on the front lines, and theyve been forced or manipulated

  • into killing on behalf of the terrorist group.

  • Human Rights Groups even fear that Boko Haram may be using some of these girls

  • as suicide bombers. But authorities can’t know for sure if the girls were being forced to

  • carry out these acts or were indoctrinated to do so.

  • Boko Haram and Nigeria reportedly struck a recent cease-fire deal, but that seems

  • to be having little effect on the ground in Nigeria. The 30 children mentioned at the

  • beginning of the video were kidnapped after the agreement was established, in addition

  • to another 60 women and girls in two separate Christian villages. These girls will most

  • likely be forced into motherhood, sold into slavery, or killed. And without international

  • intervention, there’s no reason to believe that Boko Haram will slow down their

  • kidnappings or bring back the girls.

  • To find out more about Boko Haram and how they originated, please check out

  • our early video profiling the group. New videos six days a week, please subscribe.

Boko Haram recently kidnapped 30 children from a village in Nigeria, pushing the

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